The last member of 21 Taras to join is the one who’s answered all the questions for today’s BotD. Take it away, Julian…
There are 5 of us in 21 Taras, 4 of whom grew up in Littleton, Colorado where we currently all reside. I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and made my way down to Colorado a few years back in 2014.
How did you meet?
James and Alec; lead guitar and drums respectively: met back in high school and began playing together. Alec was originally on bass guitar and they had a different drummer playing with them. They eventually moved on as Alec switched to drums and they added bassist Jim Williams to the lineup. Rhythm guitarist Austin Salazar joined shortly thereafter. All four of them went to high school together in Littleton. I came into the equation when I met James online on a band finder site of sorts. It proved to be an instant match as we had a few rehearsals and then even played a couple shows in just a matter of weeks.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We have all been playing music individually for a while longer than as a band, but we all came together in late 2014 to form 21 Taras.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
21 Taras comes from Buddhism. Tara is essentially a deity used for meditation purposes as well as an inner reflection source. They have 21 different forms of Tara, all based around self empowerment and enlightenment. It is a way to grow from within and sort of serves as another way to look at some pretty important human values.
What are your influences?
Some of our biggest influences include Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Doors, Queen and The Beach Boys. We all have such a wide array of influences so I think our musical differences sometimes works to our advantage as it creates a very diverse soundscape; even within the context of one song.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
With such an array of influences, we tend to do something a little bit different from track to track. Our newest album Change covers ground from early blues and jazz influences as well as some mid-60s to 70s psychedelic rock with a hint of soul. We have a new song that is set to be released at the end of December that is different from anything we have ever done. It is more of a disco type of track so stayed tuned for that.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Each song is a little different, I guess they all sort of resolve around my own internal chaos in one way or another. I try to tell a story that can relatable to others, while still staying true to myself and my own experiences. It is fun to go a bit abstract time and again as well, to really make those who listen to my words actually think and ponder a bit.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Our live show is something we are very proud of. Every night we bring you our genuine selves and give you everything we have. With some of the new tunes we have recorded having so many layers it proves to be a bit of a challenge to reproduce some of them fully as there are only five of us on stage. But we feel really good about what we bring and truly feel that our live show is an experience for all and it only continues to grow with more layers and depth after each show.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
The guys have a collection of guitars. They each have their own Gibsons which they often use live. Austin also has a telecaster that you can hear on a lot of our softer songs. Jim just purchased a new Schecter 5 string bass. Our drummer also has a ton of different drum kits. A couple Ludwig kits as well as a Tama and Gretsch set. He also has a nice collection of organs that can also be heard on a few of our songs. I use a Korg SV1 live which covers all of the sounds I need from classic piano to Wurlitzer and Vox continental.
What are your plans for 2019?
Well to finish off 2018 strong we have a new single set to release just one day before the new year. After that, we have a few things in the works we can not yet announce. We hope to be setting up a few tours within the year as well. Stay up to date on our website.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mates band we’ve not heard of before!
We are actually going to be opening up for our friends in Float Like A Buffalo at their album release show on January 4th in Denver. They are a very funky group with a horn section and all. We have had them open for us as well on a number of occasions. As far as other bands we would like to support, I guess would be different for everyone in the band. I have a hard time choosing a band in these sorts of questions. We’ll play with whoever. I know James would probably love to open for Red Fang.